Tag Archives: sustainability

Crunching the numbers

I’ve completed my annual bird survey today. The instructions were to record the largest number of each type of bird that was seen or heard at any one time – not the total number of each bird over the hour. That was a bit complicated but bird numbers were low in the garden today so it was not as arduous as I thought it might be.

The common sparrow headed the list, followed by wax eyes, blackbirds, chaffinches, starlings, and goldfinches. I could hear a Tui over the road feasting on the red flowering gum trees so that was included too.

Male chaffinch

I blogged about the 2011 bird survey here.

I received an email late this afternoon telling me that a new website is being set up so that I can record any observations relating to nature but it will also be where future annual bird survey results will be loaded. I’m really pleased about that as there are times when I see a new bird in the garden and wish I could tell someone “official” about it.

The other numbers I crunched today were on my blog. WordPress provides a raft of statistical data and I do check my stats regularly. This post will be number 308. My readers have posted 966 comments and I now have 70 blog followers.

Thank you to all my readers. It is very gratifying to know that you enjoy my postings and continue to turn the pages on my blog.

There is an interesting statistic amongst the people who regularly comment on my blog and that is that 4 of them have names beginning with the letter “J”.

I also have a regular group of “likers” and it is always a pleasure to find your “Like” appearing in my notifications.

11 of my blog posts have been “shared” and that seems an extra honour and potentially widens my audience.

Spam wins the day with 1,356 items that have been successfully thwarted at the cyber boundary of my blog and I am very grateful about that.

I began blogging with so much trepidation but now it is almost a habit and I miss the days when I don’t post something. I began writing to satisfy an inner voice but having gathered followers I feel spurred on to provide something that I hope will interest you in some way. My photography interest is proving to be very satisfying to me and that has been a surprise too.

Thank you again for reading, lurking, liking and commenting. You all enrich my days.

A quote for Mother’s Day

it was not until we saw the picture of the earth, from the moon, that we realized how small and how helpless this planet is – something that we must hold in our arms and care for”. Margaret Mead

A welcome return

Our Tui is back. I like to think of him (or is it a her?) as “our” tui because for the last few years he returns in the autumn and does not leave the area until summer time when I’m presuming he has to find food sources elsewhere.

When we shifted here 20 years ago I used to dream of having Tui in our garden and in the surrounding bushy areas.  What I did not know at the time was that many, many people were working to make my dream come true.  Our growing population of Tui thoughout the region is due to the establishment of wildlife and bird sanctuaries, the planting of native plants and trees and an ongoing  predator eradication programme.

We have just experienced a long dry summer and autumn and the Tui’s return seems a little later than normal, so he is especially welcome this season.   Last year we witnessed a Tui trio late in spring.  We presume it was the parents with their young offspring.

Our neighbours have a large evergreen magnolia tree which the Tui loves to sit in and sing, sometimes  up to an hour at a time.  The Tui has a double voice box which allows it to sing the most beautiful fluting notes in addition to croaks, gurgles, twitters and squawks.  His recitals are show stoppers and I am fortunate to have a front row seat only a 3 or 4 metres away from him.

We have planted two kowhai trees in our garden and are now nurturing several seedlings from these trees.  I hope this small, ordinary contribution makes a difference in years to come in providing food for the growing Tui numbers and to our Tui and his/her families in the future.

Rimus, reflection and restoration

Recently on another blog the question was asked: ” Where is your favourite bush walk?”  Here in New Zealand that means native bush.  My favourite place to walk in the bush is in Otari bush in Wellington.

My parents took us there as children and my parents’ ashes are now buried beneath a young Rimu sapling that we planted in the reserve in 2004.  The sapling we planted to commemorate our parents has grown from a seed from the 600 year old Rimu that lives in a different area of this bush.  Not only is there the 600 year old Rimu but in the same clearing there is an 800 year old giant.

There are many tracks to follow in this wonderful bush reserve but my favourite is the one that runs from the Northern carpark to the Troup Picnic area.  The path is always shaded no matter what time of the year it is.  The path tracks alongside the stream through beautiful tall trees, smaller native plants, ferns, tree ferns, mosses and lichens. 

Once at the picnic area the stream is very easy to access and it is fun to watch children paddling, searching for small creatures and attempting to dam the flow with rocks.

The calls and songs of the various native birds that live there are a delight.

 It is very easy to forget the cares of the world once in the bush.   I find it restful and restorative; a place to reflect and remember in; a place to wonder and experience awe.

Where is your favourite bush walk?